Re: 2007-2017 Essential Albums

Date:2019-02-01 02:45:52
In Reply To:2007-2017 Essential Albums by Kosh
In year order:

Powerwolf - Lupus Dei (2007): Far and away their best album, IMO. Gothic traditional metal with catchy choruses and lots of pipe organ. I like this better than the power metal style they morphed into later on, and I wish they’d continued in this direction instead.

Judas Priest - Nostradamus (2008): It seems like a lot of people disliked this double concept album, but I thought it was great. This was their most focused, coherent work in a long time, and as long as you don’t require every track to crush your skull, there’s a lot to like here.

Megadeth - Endgame (2009): Their first and best album with Chris Broderick on guitar. The opening instrumental evokes memories of “Into The Lungs Of Hell”, and the rest of the album is a good mix of Megadeth’s commercial and thrashy sides.

Mekong Delta - Wanderer On The Edge Of Time (2010): An eclectic mix of acoustic instrumentals, 70s prog rock, 90s prog metal, and melodic thrash that takes you on quite a journey from start to finish.

Ratt - Infestation (2010): Their best album since Out Of The Cellar. “Last Call” and “Eat Me Up Alive” are great, and the rest is strong, if a little cheesy.

Primal Rock Rebellion - Awoken Broken (2012): This album by Mikee Goodman of Sikth and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden is both crushingly heavy and pleasingly melodic. If you can handle Goodman’s at times extreme vocals, then this album is a real treat.

Rush - Clockwork Angels (2012): OK, not technically metal, but this final studio album from the prog rock legends is an excellent concept album with some great heavy parts.

Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody - Ascending To Infinity (2012): If you like Luca Turilli’s solo albums, you will like this. Ludicrous, over-the-top neoclassical cheese, but executed quite well.

Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls (2015): Probably the second best album the band has done since Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith rejoined, and their first double studio album to date. Bruce strains a bit on the vocals in places, and some of the tracks are a little overblown or undercooked; but in the end there isn’t a bad song in the bunch, and there are a few brilliant ones.

Sweet & Lynch - Only To Rise (2015): Pretty great hair metal collaboration between Michael Sweet of Stryper and George Lynch of Dokken.

Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct (2016): Their best album since ...And Justice For All, and arguably what the black album should have been. Organic and digestible, but without feeling dumbed down. For some reason they released this as a double album, though it would have all fit on one CD.

Ball Noir - Lost Serenades (2017): Excellent Dutch folk metal with an emphasis on the folk. Harp and hurdy-gurdy are a constant accompaniment to the electric guitars. Almost all clean vocals, no distracting accent. Vocals are reminiscent of Justice-era Hetfield at times.

Skyclad - Forward Into The Past (2017): Probably the best of the post-Walkyier Skyclad albums. A nice balance of folk and thrash.

Sons Of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony (2017): Strong debut from prog-metal supergroup with Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot, and Jeff Scott Soto.

Honorable mentions:

Metallica - Death Magnetic (2008): Pretty good attempt to revisit the style of ...And Justice For All, but the recording is brickwalled and the whole thing feels a little forced.

Megadeth - Dystopia (2016): Pleasantly thrashy for latter-era Megadeth, but the Alex Jones lyrics are a little off-putting, and just like Death Magnetic, the whole thing feels a little forced.

Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman (2015): The band’s second album with Todd LaTorre finally found its footing and cranked out a strong set of songs. LaTorre’s vocal harmonies are a little cheesy at times, but there’s still a lot to like here. Probably the best Queensrÿche album since Promised Land.

Operation: Mindcrime - The Key trilogy (2015-2017): Geoff Tate’s first post-Queensrÿche effort was a prog rock concept album trilogy that’s a little unwieldy, but pretty cool if you don’t mind a little saxophone with your musical exposition.

Blaze Bayley - Infinite Entanglement trilogy (2016-2018): After a guest appearance on one song in Geoff Tate’s concept album trilogy, Blaze Bayley somehow got the idea to do his own overblown concept album trilogy. Surprisingly it’s pretty good overall, though Bayley still can’t phrase his way out of a wet paper bag, and there’s definitely some padding across the three albums. “A” for effort, though.

Powerwolf - Preachers Of The Night (2013): The band’s best album in their power metal style. Strong throughout.

- Jer
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